HVTC recognised as diversity champion

HVTC has been recognised for making real headway towards creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

The not-for-profit organisation, which employs and manages almost 700 apprentices and trainees for host employers, was named the Diversity Champion (Organisation) at the 2019 Hunter Diversity Awards.

These Awards were announced in Newcastle on Tuesday and aim to recognise individuals and businesses who are making their workplace and/or community a fairer, more equitable and more successful place to live and work.

Since 2009 HVTC has increased the percentage of Indigenous apprentices and trainees from 1% to 10%, creating significant employment outcomes across NSW, particularly in regional areas.

HVTC has also achieved a representation of Women in Non Traditional Trades of 4.6%.

“This gives young women greater access to a broader range of well-paid and rewarding careers that not only addresses gender pay equity but also improves the productivity and successfulness of businesses,” said HVTC Manager Human Resources & Safety, Janet Lee.

According to Lee, the company’s success in the diversity space has been the result of its multi-pronged approach to diversity and equality, underpinned by a long-term Strategic Plan.

“This Strategic Plan outlines policies surrounding workplace and gender equality and sets out specific goals in relation to diversifying our Hosted Employee representation,” she said.

Ms Lee added that most organisations today have some form of policy relating to diversity and equal opportunity.

“Businesses are beginning to realise they have a corporate and social responsibility to ensure their workforce is a true reflection of the communities in which they operate,” she said.

One of the actions HVTC has taken to ensure it continues to meet and maintain its strategic goals has been securing Anti-Discrimination Board exemptions for 35 Women in Non-Traditional Trade (WNTT) placements and 35 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (A&TI) placements.
For the next two years, HVTC can offer recruitment of WNTT and A&TI apprentices and trainees to any employer without the three month waiting period and can place advertisements for positions that are only available to WNTT and A&TI applicants.

Through HVTC, businesses can provide opportunities for people to gain a nationally accredited qualification through an apprenticeship or traineeship while concurrently strengthening diversity and inclusion in their organisation.

“Winning the Diversity Champion Award is affirmation that we’re doing a good job. We’re incredibly proud of the culture we’ve created.”

Woman standing at lectern in front of audience